Several promising non-volatile memories (NVMs) such as magnetic RAM (MRAM), spin-transfer torque RAM (STTRAM), ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM), resistive RAM (RRAM), and phase-change memory (PCM) are being investigated to keep the static leakage within a tolerable limit. These new technologies offer high density and consume zero leakage power and can bridge the gap between processor and memory. The desirable properties of emerging NVMs make them suitable candidates for several applications including replacement of conventional memories. However, their unique characteristics introduce new data privacy and security issues. Some of them are already available in the market as discrete chips or a part of full system implementation. They are considered to become ubiquitous in future computing devices. Therefore, it is important to ensure their security/privacy issues. Note that these NVMs can be considered for cache, main memory, or storage application. They are also suitable to implement in-memory computation which increases system throughput and eliminates von Neumann bottleneck. Compute-capable NVMs impose new security and privacy challenges that are fundamentally different than their storage counterpart. This work identifies NVM vulnerabilities and attack vectors originating from the device level all the way to circuits and systems, considering both storage and compute applications. We also summarize the circuit/system-level countermeasures to make the NVMs robust against security and privacy issues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering